Bits: new BA ‘50% buy Avios’ bonus, My Lounge opens at Gatwick South, Shangri-La’s new Blacklane partnership

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News in brief:

50% bonus when you buy Avios

British Airways is launching another ‘buy Avios’ bonus promotion today.

Until 16th December you will receive 50% bonus Avios when you buy or gift points.

As well as being the highest bonus we have seen for quite a while – although no different to the Iberia Plus offer which launched last week – there is also no minimum purchase.  The bonus kicks in with the smallest 1,000 Avios transaction.  You need to visit via this page in order to buy.

British Airways has increased the number of Avios you can buy under this deal – the cap is now 200,000 points per year!  This means that, with the bonus, you will receive 300,000 Avios for a whopping £3,215.

This is not necessarily a great idea as the best value is generally obtained by buying a small number of Avios to top off your account.  If you saw me on BBC1’s Rip Off Britain earlier this year (you can watch the segment here, it is only 3 minutes long) you will know that one of the members of the public I tried to help had bought 100,000 Avios for £1,600 without fully understand the restrictions behind them.

What does it cost?

In general, you will pay around 1.1p per Avios under this offer.  Based on my spreadsheet of the last 6.8 million Avios I redeemed, I got 1.16p of value.  This is using very conservative valuations for the flights booked, eg I value a Business Class flight to Dubai at £1,500 because even if BA isn’t charging that there is usually a deal with a secondary airline.

I am clearly not a buyer at 1.16p.  However, as my core article on ‘What is an Avios worth?’ shows, it is easy to get a lot more than 1.16p.  My valuation is low because I do a lot of Gold Priority Rewards (using double Avios to force open a seat) and don’t always have a BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher to use.  I also tend to use Avios irrespective of the value, because I am sitting on so many.  If you are strategic you should do better than me.

The link to buy is here.  If it isn’t live when you click through, take a look later in the day.

Is it worth buying Avios

My Lounge now open in Gatwick South as an alternative to No 1 Lounge

The brand new ‘My Lounge’ is now open in London Gatwick’s South Terminal, which is the one used by British Airways.

Based on the one in Gatwick North, you should expect ‘urban chic’ bordering on ‘hipster’, if ‘hipster’ is still a ‘thing’.

Annoyingly, I have no idea where ‘My Lounge’ is, except that it is located on the upper level along with all of the other lounges.  Apparently it has the only outside terrace at the airport.

Given that the ‘My Lounge’ in Gatwick North is cheap – I have seen it offered for as little as £12 via promos – I was surprised to see that Gatwick South will cost £30 on the door or £24 booked in advance.  Children are allowed at half price.

This is our review of My Lounge in Gatwick North to get you in the mood.  It is available via Priority Pass (free with Amex Platinum or buy one here) and Lounge Club (two free visits with the free Amex Gold) which should reduce the pressure on the main No 1 Lounge.

You can find out more about My Lounge Gatwick South on their website here.  I will be Gatwick South in January and hope to take a look then, assuming there is no official media event.

Blacklane Miles and More bonus

Earn Shangri-La Golden Circle points with Blacklane

Chauffeur group Blacklane has added Shangri-La Golden Circle as its first hotel earning partner.

You will earn one Shangri-La Golden Circle point for every two £, $ or € spent with Blacklane.  As a special introductory offer, you can earn double points for all rides taken before 28th February 2019.

The company now operates in 300 cities in 60 countries and is particularly useful for airport rides.  We used them in Milan Linate last year when I was with the family and wanted someone waiting at the gate with a car I knew would be big enough.

If you would prefer to earn airline miles, Blacklane also lets you earn with:

  • Asia Miles (6 per £/$/€ spent with their current promo)
  • Enrich (Malaysia Airlines) (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Finnair Plus (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Qatar Privilege Club (1 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Miles & More (Lufthansa etc) (2 per £/$/€ spent)
  • Singapore Airlines Krisflyer (2 per £/$/€ spent)

You can also save 10% on your first Blacklane ride with code SAVE10%.

Blacklane has a slightly odd way of entering promotional codes.  You will be presented with a page asking for your credit card details.  After you type them in, there is an additional screen which asks if you have a voucher code.  Add SAVE10% on that page and 10% is deducted from your quote.  Your card is not charged until after the ride and you can cancel until 1 hour before pick-up.

You can sign-up for a Blacklane account here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. OT Gold sup failed yesterday as I had the wrong pin so used a different card noticed a message from Amex saying as a one off courtesy we have approved the transaction yet the receipt shows void . Phoned Amex and told I have to start a disputed charge claim.

  2. OT: I know some people on here have said that they often don’t get the shop small email if they pay via amex contactless. I just paid with my amex via my phone (google pay), and the email came through instantly. Maybe worth it for those who are worried about all their contactless spend.

    • I have had lots of credits for contactless and also for purchases which did not trigger email.

      • Yes- I’ve also had all my credits post too (although I always get emails as well). Just a suggestion for those who may feel more reassured if they get the email first!

  3. My Lloyds credit card got used at various online shopping websites and food delivery services over the weekend – it’s the one I use for BA and Marriott, so the data leak is very real indeed. Keep a close eye on your account everyone!!

    • I’ve just had a text from Amex saying they haven’t approved a transaction on an old card. Someone trying to use one I’ve churned maybe?

      • On the positive, Lloyds are sending out a new Avios Amex card – guess they’re still being printed after all!

  4. Rufusrea says:

    OT Used BP app at weekend set for £31 pound came in at £30.80. Everything worked smoothly. Today with different credit card set for £31 again came in at £29.80 (what a waste) I think next time I’ll go for £35

    • You can select £40, £50, £60 whatever you like, just stop the pump at £30 and that’s all you’ll be charged for. Simples.

      • I set it at £35 and stop at £30. Not sure why people go for £31 and risk it when it makes no difference unless they fall asleep while pumping the fuel in so they go to the max allotted.

  5. I have a spare ticket for the HFP party tomorrow night. Please let me know if you’re interested in buying it at cost.

    • Lisa on the desk will give you the 2nd drinks voucher if you ask her – that will save you £6ish so you won’t be much out of pocket. Need to decide if you’re allowed a spare raffle ticket though ….!

      • Rob, do you have a waiting list for cancellations or spare tickets?

        • We don’t officially have one, but I have been trying to match up people who email saying they want to sell and people who email saying they want to buy. We are totally clear of both buyers and sellers at the moment though.

  6. OT – Have the plat charge and gold CC, applied for nectar card and got rejected. Never been rejected before and credit file seems fine to me, noticed that some other people mentioned they had also been getting rejected from AMEX? Or is it just me.

  7. OT Bits – am really liking this new ‘savings’ tab on Amex website (not present in-app) – offer credits seem to show there at least a day before appearing in the main account. Gave me reassurance that my latest Morrison’s credit is coming through OK (was slightly worried as the transaction line is showing as Morrison’s petrol station even though it was in the main superstore, not the petrol station!)

    • Alan,
      You know, l never even noticed that tab til you mentioned it. My Morrison’s ones are very slow coming through. How many days did yours take. It’s very useful, and it’s adding up with shop small too..

      • First one was quicker, this one still hasn’t shown up from Wednesday and Shop Small from Thurs not showing yet either, although as I say both now showing in pending at least.

      • Jill (Kinkell) says:

        Mine are all showing.Morrisons, shop small, but are taking about 6 days

        • Nigel the pensioner says:

          You see… small does indeed appear to be all AmEx places except ‘Arrods!! 😁😁

  8. Wally1976 says:

    OT – is anyone else having trouble with the BP Me App? I used it twice last week no problem but then tried yesterday and today and when I come to select the pump number it throws an error. Very disappointing as I was enjoying getting a third off my diesel (and have the offer on a further 4 Amex cards)!

    • Shoestring says:

      Sure, the app can be a bit rubbish. Try shutting down app & your phone & re-loading.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      I’ve added 4 amex no problem but won’t let me add my last one. Very frustrating.

  9. On the BA Amex, does purchasing these Avios count as BA spend thus generating you 3 Avios per £1 spent which one can factor into the cost of these Avios?

  10. Joe Mannion says:

    Is the BA 50% Avios promo working? Have tried the links several times Dec 10th and 11th, and it just shows the usual prices and no bonus Avios.

    • Yes, it should show. Have you clicked all the way through to the end of the sale process?

    • Just worked for me. It is not obvious on the first page but when you click the “Treat Yourself” button the bonus appears on the next screen.

  11. Are you sure that BA is selling Avios with a 50% bonus? Can’t see any BA advertising about this or anything but normal prices on the web-site.

    • Shoestring says:

      log in to BAEC first & you’ll see the 50% bonus on the ‘Please select Avios’ bit

  12. Access MY Lounge Gatwick south immediately after security. Turn left before walking down the Stairs to World duty free., then follow it around to the right. Looks clean and smart and available for discounted entry via Caxton pre-pay Card

  13. Andy Sheret says:

    Please can someone advise me on this?

    I have 100k points in my BAEC account. I will shortly trigger my Amex 2-for-1 voucher which I plan to redeem on a long haul flight for my wife and I within the next 18 months.

    My wife has around 30k points in BAEC. I am considering referring her to the BA Amex, so that she can spend 10k in 12 months to trigger a 2-for-1 voucher for her.

    The question is – should I create a household account, so that we can pool our points? What I am unsure of, is, for example, as I am the head of the household and with lots more points (say 150k vs 50k) will my wife’s companion voucher be able to call on all of the points in the household account (so 200k total) or does her companion voucher only apply to “her” 50k points balance?

    I hope that makes sense!


    • Shoestring says:

      The way it works is that if only 1 HHA a/c member flies, only that person uses points.

      If you both fly, you use up your a/c points in fair measure (to the points requirement of your respective flights) until somebody runs out of points. Then that person’s points are zero, so they take points from other members of the HHA.

      You can also have zero points but use up any points of anybody else in the HHA a/c

      • Andy Sheret says:

        Thanks – that clears up my biggest concern… If my wife has little or zero points, she can still use points from within the HHA to redeem her 2-for-1

  14. Would love people’s opinions. Am I being stupid? If I buy c.200,000 points for around £2500 all in, I can fly LHR to HND in First! That seems ridiculous VFM.


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